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Tire Support - Patent 5749475

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United States Patent: 5749475


































 
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	United States Patent 
	5,749,475



 Krebs
 

 
May 12, 1998




 Tire support



Abstract

The apparatus of this invention comprises first and second support members,
     wherein each support member includes horizontally extending legs and an
     upright portion. One leg of each support member is arranged to overlie a
     leg of the other support member, and locking tabs on the overlying legs
     insert and lock into notches of the underlying legs to interlock the
     supports.


 
Inventors: 
 Krebs; Jimmy M. (Round Lake, IL) 
 Assignee:


Benchmarc Display, Incorporated
 (Vernon Hills, 
IL)





Appl. No.:
                    
 08/822,063
  
Filed:
                      
  March 24, 1997





  
Current U.S. Class:
  211/24  ; 211/175; 211/23
  
Current International Class: 
  A47F 7/04&nbsp(20060101); A47F 007/00&nbsp()
  
Field of Search: 
  
  





 211/23,24,20,175,184,43
  

References Cited  [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
 
 
 
3510007
May 1970
Walklet et al.

4106735
August 1978
Partain et al.

4496127
January 1985
Nelson

4550835
November 1985
Lynch

4856659
August 1989
Krebs

4874099
October 1989
Arnott et al.

5137160
August 1992
Santucci

5201428
April 1993
Pasinski et al.

5295596
March 1994
Squitieri



   Primary Examiner:  Gibson, Jr.; Robert W.


  Attorney, Agent or Firm: White; Douglas B.



Claims  

What is claimed is:

1.  A tire support assembly comprising:


first and second opposing support members, wherein each support member includes an upright portion and spaced first and second legs affixed to said upright portion, said legs extending horizontally therefrom in opposing relation to said legs
extending from said opposing support member, whereby opposing legs overlap one another;  and


locking means for selectively fastening together said overlapped legs, wherein said locking means comprises tab means positioned on one of said overlapped legs and receptacle means positioned on said opposing overlapped leg for receipt of said
tab means, said tab means comprising an arm member hinged to said respective leg and an insert member carried on said arm member.


2.  The tire support assembly of claim 1 wherein said receptacle means comprises an opening defined in said respective leg for receipt of said insert member.


3.  The tire support assembly of claim 2 wherein said insert member comprises a tapered block member having a catch edge defined thereon.


4.  The tire support assembly of claim 3 wherein said receptacle means comprises a resilient notch.


5.  The tire support assembly of claim 1 wherein said legs are substantially trapezoidal in cross section and each leg presents a sloping upper surface.


6.  The tire support assembly of claim 5 wherein said receptacle means comprises an opening defined in said respective leg for receipt of said insert member.


7.  The tire support assembly of claim 6 wherein said insert member comprises a tapered block member having a catch edge defined thereon.


8.  The tire support assembly of claim 7 wherein said receptacle means comprises a resilient notch.


9.  A support member for a tire support assembly comprising:


an upright portion;


first and second leg members extending horizontally from said upright portion;  and


tab means positioned on said first leg member and receptacle means positioned on said second leg member, wherein said tab means comprises an arm member hinged to said respective leg and an insert member carried on said arm member.


10.  The support member for a tire support assembly of claim 9 wherein said insert member comprises a tapered block member having a catch edge defined thereon.


11.  A support member for a tire support assembly comprising:


an upright portion;


first and second leg members extending horizontally from said upright portion, wherein said legs are substantially trapezoidal in cross section and each leg presents an upper sloping surface;


tab means positioned on said first leg member wherein said tab means comprises an arm member hinged to said respective leg and an insert member carried on said arm member;  and


receptacle means positioned on said second leg member.


12.  The support member for a tire support assembly of claim 11 wherein said insert member comprises a tapered block member having a catch edge defined thereon.


13.  The support member for a tire support assembly of claim 12 wherein said receptacle means comprises a resilient notch.  Description  

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


1.  Field of the Invention


This invention relates generally to display apparatus and more particularly to supports for displaying tires.


2.  Description of the Prior Art


The prior art is exemplified by the tire supporting and display members described in U.S.  Pat.  No. 4,856,659, in which dual upright members are supported by horizontally extending legs.  These upright members fit together with the horizontal
legs overlapping to thereby form a freestanding support for a tire positioned therebetween.  Once assembled, this structure provides secure support for a tire, with the weight of the tire on the legs keeping the apparatus together.  Without the tire in
place, however, the supports will have a tendency to separate.


SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


It is accordingly the object of the present invention to provide an improvement to the prior art tire supports, which improvement interlocks the legs to keep the supports together in the absence of the weight of a tire.


The apparatus of this invention comprises identical first and second support members, wherein each support member includes horizontally extending legs and an upright portion affixed thereto.  The legs of the support members are arranged to
overlap and locking tabs on the overlying legs insert and lock into notches in the underlying legs to interlock the supports. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tire support assembly of the invention, shown partially latched.


FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the support of FIG. 1, shown with both locking tabs engaged.


FIG. 3 is a bottom view of one of the pair of identical support members.


FIG. 4 is a cross section of the overlapped legs showing the interlocking tab in the unlocked position.


FIG. 5 is a cross section of the overlapped legs showing the interlocking tab in the locked position.


FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the locking tab feature, viewed from the bottom of the support apparatus. 

While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that it is the intent to
cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.


DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT


Turning first to FIG. 1 there is shown a tire support in accordance with the present invention.  Paired support members 12 each include an upright portion 14 and integral horizontally extending legs 16 and 18.  Each of the support members is
identical in all respects and when paired, as shown in FIG. 1, the legs overlap and define a space between the legs and the upright portions for receipt of the tire to be displayed.


Positioning of the overlapping legs is facilitated through interlocking indentations 24 formed in each of the legs.  When the indentations of overlapping legs are brought into registration they serve to correctly position the legs for locking
engagement described below.  Rigidity of the structure is enhanced by means of a reinforcing edge 26 (FIG. 2) spanning the horizontal legs and integral with the upright portions 14 of the support, as well as a transverse end wall 28 provided on the
underlying leg 16.  Finally, the legs are preferably trapezoidal in cross section with the surface of the legs being angled downwardly towards the center of the assembly (FIG. 1, FIG. 4 and FIG. 5) to provide stable supporting contact with the displayed
tire.


Locking means for holding the supports in place without the weight of the tire includes the use of a tab device 30.  This device utilizes a flexible hinge 32 (FIG. 6) formed as a thinned plastic section between the upper surface 34 of an
overlying leg and a tab arm 36 attached thereto.  A tapered solid block insert member 38 carried on the tab arm 36 presents a sharply tapered head 40 and a catch edge 42.  Resilient notches 50 are positioned along the side 52 of the underlying leg for
receipt of the tapered block insert member 38.  Consequently, once the paired supports are positioned with the tab bearing legs overlying the notched legs, and the indentations are brought into registration (FIG. 4), the tab arm 36 is moved, by flexing
the hinge 32, to force the tab insert 38 into the tab notch 50 (FIG. 5).  The width of the notch 50 is preferably narrower than the width of the tab head 40 such that insertion of the tapered tab head forces the notch to yield while allowing the tab head
to penetrate therethrough.  Once the tab head passes through the notch, the resilient notch width reverts to its prior dimension and the catch edge 42 of the tab secures the tab (FIG. 2) within the notch.


From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that modifications can be made to the apparatus and method for using same without departing from the teachings of the present invention.  Accordingly, the scope of the invention is only to be
limited as necessitated by the accompanying claims.


* * * * *























				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: 1. Field of the InventionThis invention relates generally to display apparatus and more particularly to supports for displaying tires.2. Description of the Prior ArtThe prior art is exemplified by the tire supporting and display members described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,856,659, in which dual upright members are supported by horizontally extending legs. These upright members fit together with the horizontallegs overlapping to thereby form a freestanding support for a tire positioned therebetween. Once assembled, this structure provides secure support for a tire, with the weight of the tire on the legs keeping the apparatus together. Without the tire inplace, however, the supports will have a tendency to separate.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIONIt is accordingly the object of the present invention to provide an improvement to the prior art tire supports, which improvement interlocks the legs to keep the supports together in the absence of the weight of a tire.The apparatus of this invention comprises identical first and second support members, wherein each support member includes horizontally extending legs and an upright portion affixed thereto. The legs of the support members are arranged tooverlap and locking tabs on the overlying legs insert and lock into notches in the underlying legs to interlock the supports. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGSFIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tire support assembly of the invention, shown partially latched.FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the support of FIG. 1, shown with both locking tabs engaged.FIG. 3 is a bottom view of one of the pair of identical support members.FIG. 4 is a cross section of the overlapped legs showing the interlocking tab in the unlocked position.FIG. 5 is a cross section of the overlapped legs showing the interlocking tab in the locked position.FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the locking tab feature, viewed from the bottom of the support apparatus. While the invention will be described in connection with a preferr